If you are interested in how to sleep fast at night, well and deep, you are in the right place. Here you will find everything you need to sleep fast and better:
- The science of sleep and how it works.
- Cases of people suffering from sleep deprivation.
- Practical advice to improve your sleep and rest hours.
- How to have more energy during the day.
The goal of this guide is to explain the science of sleeping well.
THE SCIENCE OF SLEEPING WELL
Sleeping is one of those every day but strange things that all people do around the world. On average, an adult sleeps 36% of his life, a little more than a third of the time he spends on this planet. To understand how to sleep fast at night, deeply, first you must answer the following questions:
- What is sleep?
- Why is it so important for your body, your mind, and your health?
- How does it relate to being awake?
MAIN OBJECTIVE OF SLEEPING: RESTORATION
Sleeping helps all your bodily functions work properly, especially those of the brain. Everyday, your brain accumulates waste due to neuronal activity. However, despite being a completely normal process, the excessive accumulation of this waste has been linked to an increased risk of suffering neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
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HOW DOES YOUR BODY DISCARD METABOLIC WASTE?
Recent research has suggested that sleep plays a final role in cleansing your nervous system. They have discovered that during sleep, the elimination of toxins is twice as fast as in waking hours. And the way in which this cleaning happens is very peculiar:
- When you sleep, the cells of your central nervous system shrink up to 60% of their normal size.
- This reduction allows them to get rid of metabolic waste.
- This system that facilitates the cleaning of your central nervous system is called the glymphatic system.
- The final result of this cleaning is the release of waste, which gives you that feeling of freshness, more concentration, and greater mental agility when you wake up.
SECONDARY OBJECTIVE OF SLEEPING: MEMORY
Sleeping is very important to generate memories, that is, it is important to maintain and strengthen your long-term memory. ( 2 )
Not sleeping the right amount of hours, or sleeping fractionally, can decrease your ability to create:
- Memories of emotions.
- Concrete memories (exact data, facts, and textual definitions).
SLEEP AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR METABOLIC HEALTH
Research has found that when sleeping 5.5 hours a day, instead of 8.5 hours: ( 3 )
- It consumes less energy stored in your body from fats.
- It consumes more energy stored in your body from carbohydrates and proteins.
This means that by sleeping less, you can predispose your body to gain more fat, as well as lose muscle mass. In addition to this, it was also found that by not sleeping enough hours, you have a higher risk of presenting:
- Resistance to insulin.
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Heart disease.
HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO SLEEP IN REALITY ?
The University of Pennsylvania and the Washington State University conducted an experiment with 48 people (men and women):
- At first, they slept 7 to 8 hours a day.
- In the second stage, the 48 participants were divided into 4 groups:
- The first group: They had to stay 3 days without sleep.
- The second group: They could only sleep 4 hours a day, for two weeks in a row.
- The third group: They could only sleep 6 hours a day, for two weeks in a row.
- The fourth group: They could only sleep 8 hours a day, for two weeks in a row.
3. Each group was evaluated for the performance of their physical and mental abilities, with the following results:
- First, the second group and third group: As the days passed, their physical and mental performance diminished more and more.
- The first group had the worst performance, followed by the second and third, although the difference between the last two was not very big.
4. The fourth group: They did not show a decrease in their physical or mental performance.
- I do not diminish their learning or their level of attention.
- There was no decrease in his motor ability.
With the final results of this research, two important discoveries were made:
- The dream debt is something real.
- People are not aware that their physical and mental performance decreases when they do not sleep.
THE ACCUMULATED DEBT FOR LACK OF SLEEP IS SOMETHING REAL
According to the researchers, the accumulated debt of sleep has a neurological cost that increases with the passing of days:
- After a week, 25% of the participants who slept 6 hours a day, fell asleep at random times during the day.
- After two weeks, all the participants who slept 6 hours decreased their physical and mental performance, at the same level as the group that stayed awake all day for two days.
This means that if you only sleep 6 hours a day, for two weeks in a row, your physical and mental performance decreases as if you had been awake for 48 hours straight.
PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE THAT THEIR PERFORMANCE WORSENS WHEN NOT SLEEPING
Although the evidence gathered was overwhelming, it was found that the participants were convinced that their physical and mental performance had decreased a little during the first days, but that afterward they had become accustomed to sleeping less and their performance was the same as when they slept. 8 hours in a row.
Although the participants did not perceive this decrease in their performance, it continued to worsen according to the evaluations and scientific tests used. In other words, we are not good at judging the decline of our physical and mental performance.
THE COST TO YOUR BODY WHEN NOT SLEEPING PROPERLY
This may be your case, but if you’re sleeping less to do more, ironically, do less and worse.
It is estimated that in the United States alone, there is a loss of $ 100 trillion dollars a year in business, due to poor performance due to lack of sleep.
Gregory Belenky, director of the Center for Sleep Research and Performance at the University of Washington, says: “When you stay awake more hours a day, you subtract return to your job performance, except for the work which is required not to think about.”
IS IT POSSIBLE TO RECOVER THE LOST SLEEP HOURS?
Sleeping more hours a day can help you counteract some negative effects caused by lack of sleep. New scientific research has found that by sleeping all weekend to try to recover the sleep lost in the week, has the following effects:
- Positive: Cellular inflammation, tiredness, and energy level return to normal ranges.
- Neutral: There is no improvement in cognitive performance or level of attention.
This means that if you are not getting enough sleep during the week, even if you sleep extra hours on weekends, you will not be able to recover your mental agility, focus or attention.
The only way to maintain your mental performance levels is by sleeping the right number of hours each day. Now, if you are already experiencing a sleep deficit, it is very important that you recover the missing hours to prevent the situation from getting worse.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP IN PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PERFORMANCE
The slow brain waves of sleep and REM sleep are the ones that help you most in the recovery process. If you expose your body to physical and mental exhaustion:
- Slow brain waves of sleep help physical recovery.
- REM sleep helps mental recovery.
SLOW BRAIN SLEEP WAVES
During the slow brain waves of sleep, the functioning of your body modifies certain aspects:
- Enter a state of absolute relaxation.
- The breathing becomes regular.
- The blood pressure drops.
- The brain responds much less to external stimuli, which makes it much harder to wake up.
In this phase of sleep, the pituitary gland produces growth hormones that stimulate the growth and repair of tissues and muscle mass. For this reason, some professional athletes, such as Roger Federer or LeBron James, sleep 11 to 12 hours a day.
In one study it was found that professional athletes should sleep at least 10 hours a day. This study was conducted over 5 weeks, where researchers measured the accuracy and speed of basketball players, compared to their baseline values. The results were the following:
- Free throw: Increased on average by 9%.
- Three-point shot: Increased 9.2% on average.
Speed: They were 0.6 seconds faster in 80 meters short races.
During most phases of sleep, your brain is relatively calm. However, during REM sleep, your brain enters a state of activity, as if it were coming back to life. This happens because REM sleep uses your brain to dream and to reorganize stored information. In this phase of the dream your brain:
- It gets rid of irrelevant information.
- Increase memory, connecting the experiences of the last 24 hours with previously stored experiences.
- It facilitates learning and neural growth.
In addition to these effects during REM sleep, other changes also exist:
- The body temperature increases.
- The blood pressure increases.
- The heart rate increases.
Despite all this activity, your body almost does not move.
In a habitual way, REM sleep happens in short periods, from 3 to 5, when sleeping deeply.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY IF YOU DI NOT ENTER THE PHASES OF SLEEP WITH SLOW BRAIN WAVES OR REM SLEEP?
Your body would literally start to die if it did not go through the sleep phases of slow brain waves and REM sleep. This effect of sleep deprivation is due to:
- You can not physically recover from wear and physical injuries.
- Your immune system weakens.
- Your mental functions become slower.
Researchers have terminated that sleep deprivation increases the risk of:
- Viral infections
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease.
- Mental diseases.
- Weight gain.
HOW TO SLEEP FAST AT NIGHT AND BETTER?
To know how to sleep fast at night you need much more information than you can read in a minute because there are factors that modify your sleep and wake cycles.
Among the most important things you can control are:
- The hours to sleep.
- The exposure of light during the day.
- Relaxation techniques.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I SLEEP?
Many people believe that if they are sleeping the recommended 8 hours a day, then it does not matter what time they fall asleep. But this is not always the case, especially if the 8 hours are not carried out continuously.
According to Dr. Matt Walker, head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, the time you sleep has a significant impact on the structure and quality of sleep. This is because of the ratio between REM sleep and non-REM sleep changes during the 24-hour cycle.
- During the night: Non-REM sleep is the main one.
- During dawn: REM sleep is the main one.
What it means, staying awake until late at night, decreases the amount of deep sleep (non-REM sleep) you can get.
It is estimated that in order to get enough of both types of sleep, you need to sleep between 8 pm and midnight.
DO ALL PEOPLE HAVE TO ALL PEOPLE HAVE TO SLEEP AT THE SAME TIME?
According to the chronobiology professor named Till Roenneberg, who works at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, studying the biological roots of sleep, each person has an internal biological clock that dictates the schedules of the activities to be performed and that is why we have colloquial terms like nocturnal owl and morning bird. And your chronotype is largely genetic.
The best time to sleep is very individual, so, instead of worrying, better focus on following your internal clock and listening to what your body asks of you.
The most important thing is to sleep the recommended 8 hours continuously, at the time that best suits you.
LIGHT SHOW DURING THE DAY
Light plays an important role so you can sleep better and more easily.
- During the day, he performs outdoor activities and during the night:
- Dim or turn off the lights in your house.
Turn off devices with screens to avoid their light (computers, televisions, cell phones, etc.)
Apparently, it is the wavelength of blue light from electronic devices, which decreases the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep.
Another option is that before sleeping, decrease the brightness of the screens of your electronic devices or use a filter (digital or physical) so that the screen decreases its brightness. Establishing a complete shutdown routine, one or two hours before sleep, can be very helpful.
If you have trouble getting to sleep and want to do some activity while you calm down, you can read a book, which is also an excellent way to learn new things.
It is important to know that working late into the night can put your mind and body on alert, increasing stress levels, which could hinder your calm state to sleep.
Researchers on sleep believe that at least 50% of insomnia cases are related to emotions, anxiety and stress. Some methods that have been proven to reduce stress are:
- Keep a diary
- Perform deep breathing exercises.
- Pray or meditate.
- Perform exercise.
- Relaxation massages.
- Write thankful for everything you received during the day.
HOW TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF SLEEP?
If you want to know how to sleep better and increase your physical and mental performance, here are 3 key points:
When talking about sleep intensity we are talking about how to sleep fast at night. In other words, what are the percentage you have of REM sleep and non-REM sleep, which in the end determines the quality of rest and the recovery you get when you sleep? And, since your body automatically controls the intensity of your sleep cycles, there’s not much you can do about it. This regulation is based on two points:
- Your physiological needs and your state of health.
- How much time you spend sleeping.
Exercising, living a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy can help you improve your sleep intensity.
The time of day you sleep is an important factor in determining the quality of rest and recovery you have due to two reasons:
- If you sleep at the same time every day, it is easier to fall asleep.
- The time you go to sleep should be according to your circadian rhythm.
The best way to have a good rest is to sleep 8 consecutive hours.
Speaking generally, and considering that you had to get up early, the best way to achieve a good synchronization is to sleep early. Which brings us to the next point, if you have a good synchronization, you will also improve the duration.
In a practical way, it can be said that synchronization is the most important point of the three since you can not control the intensity and the duration is closely related to the synchronization of sleep.
It refers to how much time you sleep each day and depends largely on the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up. If you need to get up early, it is very important that you go to bed early to have a good sleep duration.
DAILY HABITS FOR YOU TO SLEEP BETTER
There are small changes that will help you improve the quality and quantity of sleep:
- Perform outdoor activities.
- Turn off or dim the lights.
- Avoid the consumption of caffeine.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Do not use your room as an office.
PERFORM OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Perform outdoor activities at least 3 minutes every day.
TURN OFF OR DIM THE LIGHTS
When it gets dark, it’s time to decrease the intensity of the lights, especially the screens.
AVOID CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION
If you have trouble sleeping, consider eliminating caffeine. But if you find it problematic, consume it before noon to get rid of it before your time to sleep arrives.
AVOID SMOKING OR CHEWING TOBACCO
Tobacco has been linked to health problems, including insomnia and lack of sleep.
DO NOT USE YOUR ROOM AS AN OFFICE
The ideal environment to sleep comfortably and quietly is a place:
- With a pleasant temperature for your body.
Avoid distractions with these simple steps:
- Let your room be exclusively for sleeping and relaxing.
- That is your room there are no televisions, computers, laptops and other electronic devices.
- That your room is clean and free of bad smells.
NATURAL SLEEPING AIDS
When we talk about improving the quality and quantity of sleep, exercise can be one of your best allies. Since, when you exercise, you help your brain and your body to relax. Likewise, you will favor the loss of weight and body fat, which will help improve your sleep patterns.
With age, gain weight and fat is becoming easier and sleep better is becoming more difficult. So exercise, along with good nutrition, can help you sleep better.
The only detail with the exercise is that it can cause your body to enter a state of alertness. To avoid this, it is recommended not to exercise two to three hours before going to sleep.
The ideal temperature for sleeping is 18 to 21 degrees Celsius (65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
A quiet place is a key to sleeping properly. Although not all people can have access to silent places, if it is your case you can:
- Use earplugs.
Create white or white noise with:
- Air conditioner.
- Specific audio of white sound.
Although a glass of wine, or a little alcohol, can help you fall asleep quickly, it can also decrease your quality, because alcohol causes REM sleep to not be as long as it should be. Then, even if you fall asleep quickly, you may wake up tired.